Comic Publishers

March 2, 2010

DC Comics Reviews: Justice League of America #42

Publisher: DC Comics
Writer: James Robinson
Artist: Mark Bagley
Cover: Adrian Melo & Mariah Benes

“Team History”: So the old order changeth (again), but is it for the better? We have a new team lineup that is coming together at the request of Donna Troy, and just in time to face a new menace. There have been a series of events happening, and it seems as if things are going to come full circle soon because someone is gunning for the JLA. Isn’t it great this team is always forming and reforming just in time for trouble?

The story opens with Green Arrow having a conversation with The Shade, and apparently he’s asked him for a favor. Shade is trying to see if Ollie is sure about this request as there seems to be some danger involved. After the two disappear into a portal, we are treated to a battle between some members of the newly formed JLA and Atlas. During the fight Batman notices things aren’t right about the brawl. After the team puts Atlas down it’s revealed that he was being controlled, and we see a shadowed figure watching the fight from a distance. Then we flashback to the aftermath of a fight between the Challengers and the League of Challenger-Haters (Jack Kirby era here folks), where one of the Challenger members touches an alien device that drives him mad, forcing them to call Dr. Magnus and his Metal Men for help. We jump forward again to S.T.A.R. Labs, where the Power Company is getting their asses handed to them by Dr. Impossible and Hunter, and these two are wielding New Genesis powers to the dismay of the good guys. During a meeting at the JLA Watchtower, where they are trying to figure out what’s going on, Cyborg finds a file from 1944 which places another of the alien objects at Blackhawk Island. At that exact moment and place, Congorilla and Mikaal are being overwhelmed by two more beings wielding the New Genesis power just as the entire Justice League show up to save them. So with the Watchtower empty, some uninvited guests appear via a Boom Tube, and soon after Green Arrow arrives, oblivious to what’s been going on.

Ollie in a dark place with Shade

Hearing the news that Robinson was on board got my hopes up, and I expected to enjoy the series again like I did when Meltzer and McDuffie were on the title. That’s not the case here, as it feels like we’re being forced to recognize and accept these characters as the new JLA by having them go up against enemies with New God type powers right out of the gate. The only time I actually enjoyed the title was during the conversation between Cyborg and Red Tornado’s head, as Cyborg was relating to him and stating that he’s going to build him a brand new, more durable body. You would think that with all the brains and resources of the previous JLA roster this would have been done a long time ago. And speaking of rushed, the artwork by Bagley starts off pretty good, but quickly spirals downward as you turn the pages. This is definitely something that surprised me as Bagley isn’t a bad artist, but this issue is far from what I expect from him. The shot of Donna and Dr. Light during the meeting in the Watchtower comes to mind immediately, as does the spread of the JLA arriving at Blackhawk Island. The fact that some events in Justice League: Cry for Justice have directly affected this title doesn’t help, as things have either been revealed too early or late, crippling the story even more. Though that isn’t Robinson’s fault, it affects the work he’s trying to do here in this title which has been in the toilet for quite some time now.

I will say that the addition of Dick (even if it’s as Batman) and Cyborg to the JLA is something that I thought should have happened a long time ago, but I’m glad the move has been made. I’m not sure how I feel about Starfire and Donna yet, but time will tell.  Justice League of America is one of DC’s flagship titles and it should be treated as such, but from what I’ve been seeing I don’t feel it’s worth the $3.99 cover price. There is a legacy this book holds and the shadow cast by it is a very long one, so for it to shine again both DC and Robinson are gonna have to step their game up and make the book viable again. Because right now I’m still asking that same question Vixen proposed…”is there any purpose anymore?”

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5 Comments


  1. Jeff

    The old Teen Titans are the new Justice League? Really? Lamest, most unfulfilling lineup since Justice League Detroit.



  2. Well, call me the weird one but I’m actually liking this series. It’s about time the Titans grew up.


  3. Billy

    There was a JL Detroit?



  4. I’m all for the Titans growing up but half of the team is made up of former Titans. I’m sure we’re gonna get the relationship drama/crap/past issues between Dick and Starfire and Donna doubting herself as a leader has been beat into the ground enough in the past 2 issues of the book.

    I wanted Dick and Cyborg in the JLA years ago but I think with DC’s deep character roster there could have been more interesting candidates to flesh out the team.



  5. lol @ Billy, yeah it was the equivalent of having a team of Avengers in Jersey lol



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